https://www.glwd.org/blog/from-caretaker-to-client/

Santiago and Victoria in their Brooklyn home.

4.16.18 / Clients

From Caretaker to Client, God’s Love Has Been There for Victoria and Santiago as These Spouses Manage Their Diagnoses

In 2018, we spoke to spouses Victoria and Santiago about how our meals help Santiago manage his Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis. Three years later, Victoria was diagnosed with breast cancer and began receiving meals herself. As Victoria learns to balance being a caretaker and monitoring her own health, she feels relief knowing that they will never have to worry about food.

Victoria and Santiago live together in their home in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. Victoria is a retired teacher and Santiago was laid off from his job as a draftsman. When Santiago was first diagnosed nearly 20 years ago, Victoria didn’t know where to turn. As his dementia and other symptoms worsened, Victoria worried about how she would be able to care for him on her own.

After doing some research, Victoria was referred to God’s Love by the Alzheimer’s Association. Victoria was impressed when she was interviewed by our RDNs to create a healthy, balanced meal plan based on her husband’s dietary needs. Santiago, who is non-verbal, receives pureed meals that enable him to swallow his food more easily. Victoria says:

“I was happy when I found God’s Love because I had no help before. God’s Love is helping me keep my husband alive."

Her husband was a hospice patient when Victoria first called God’s Love. But now, our home-delivered meals have helped to improve Santiago’s health and wellbeing. Victoria says that since coming on our program, her husband no longer needs medication for high cholesterol, and his doctor has been impressed with Santiago health status.

Several years after we first spoke to Victoria and Santiago, these partners received some troubling news. After managing Santiago’s diagnosis for many years, Victoria received her own breast cancer diagnosis. Victoria had received meals and nutrition counseling for their duration on program as Santiago’s senior caregiver, and upon her own diagnosis, Victoria knew she would be cared no matter what and now speaks to our RDNs about her breast cancer diagnosis in addition to Santiago’s diagnoses. She is grateful for all of this support that ensures she stays on track and can focus on making doctor’s appointments. Victoria tells us,

"I want to thank you for your kindness. The meals are so very helpful. I love this program.”

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